CVE Vulnerabilities


Exposure of Sensitive Information to an Unauthorized Actor

Published: Mar 24, 2022 | Modified: Apr 07, 2022
CVSS 3.x
CVSS 2.x

Discourse is an open source discussion platform. Versions 2.8.2 and prior in the stable branch, 2.9.0.beta3 and prior in the beta branch, and 2.9.0.beta3 and prior in the tests-passed branch are vulnerable to a data leak. Users can request an export of their own activity. Sometimes, due to category settings, they may have category membership for a secure category. The name of this secure category is shown to the user in the export. The same thing occurs when the users post has been moved to a secure category. A patch for this issue is available in the main branch of Discourses GitHub repository and is anticipated to be part of future releases.


The product exposes sensitive information to an actor that is not explicitly authorized to have access to that information.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Discourse Discourse * 2.8.2 (including)

Extended Description

There are many different kinds of mistakes that introduce information exposures. The severity of the error can range widely, depending on the context in which the product operates, the type of sensitive information that is revealed, and the benefits it may provide to an attacker. Some kinds of sensitive information include:

Information might be sensitive to different parties, each of which may have their own expectations for whether the information should be protected. These parties include:

Information exposures can occur in different ways:

It is common practice to describe any loss of confidentiality as an “information exposure,” but this can lead to overuse of CWE-200 in CWE mapping. From the CWE perspective, loss of confidentiality is a technical impact that can arise from dozens of different weaknesses, such as insecure file permissions or out-of-bounds read. CWE-200 and its lower-level descendants are intended to cover the mistakes that occur in behaviors that explicitly manage, store, transfer, or cleanse sensitive information.

Potential Mitigations

  • Compartmentalize the system to have “safe” areas where trust boundaries can be unambiguously drawn. Do not allow sensitive data to go outside of the trust boundary and always be careful when interfacing with a compartment outside of the safe area.
  • Ensure that appropriate compartmentalization is built into the system design, and the compartmentalization allows for and reinforces privilege separation functionality. Architects and designers should rely on the principle of least privilege to decide the appropriate time to use privileges and the time to drop privileges.